Gin - Traditional Dry

Death's Door Gin

From: Wisconsin, United States Liquor Review Category: Traditional Dry Gin

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Gin category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2012
  • 2015

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2009
  • 2015

Wine Enthusiast

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Proof66 Notes

Death's Door Gin is made from a grain base purchased from local farmers. We're told the blend is a combination of red winter heat and malted barley. This base distillate is blended with a neutral spirit to soften the flavor and this final product is given an infusion from juniper berries that are "hand harvested from the open fields of and forests of Washington Island." It contains an elegant three-botanical blend of juniper, coriander, and fennel. We were told that the Wisconsin-made gin has become an export and best-seller in (of all places!) London.

We were told that traditional London Dry gin has a bad name in America but it's because most people have been drinking "bad gin." Death's Door is intended to be a celebration of the pure fragrance and potential of a well-crafted, juniper-forward gin.

Death's Door as a brand was founded in 2005 but opened their own distillery in 2012 under the direction of Brian Ellison with a 2,000 liter 46-stage column still in 25,000 square feet. This completes their plan of moving from contract label work (formerly done by the Wisconsin-based Yahara Bay) and opening their own distillery. Death's Door Spirits is named in honor of the treacherous waters between Washington Island and the Door Peninsula in Lake Michigan near Green Bay. Their stated mission is to use local, fine ingredients grown without pesticide or herbicide. Washington Island wheat forms the basis for many of their spirits selected in cooperation with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and local Washington Island wheat farmers Tom and Ken Koyen. They signed a marketing and distribution partnership with Seralles, the distillery behind Don Q rums (see the press release at Night Club). In an interview with Master Distiller John Jeffries (February, 2013), we learned the new distillery sprang from a desire to exert quality control over all aspects of production during growth. For the $3.5 million investment they will have a capacity of producing 225,000 cases annually. Their operation includes a $100,000 laboratory replete with spectroscopy and chromatography capabilities to meticulously calibrate to the flavors they're looking for.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 4 ratings and 4 reviews.
StevenSauce StevenSauce (59) (2015-03-13)
4.4 stars, very smooth, dry, little juniper, makes a good martini, for vodka fans, good but overpriced.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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tnmike1 tnmike1 (38) (2015-02-24)
really enjoy this as an everyday gin and a break from Beefeater. To me, a little more complex. Drink it either in martinis or gin and tonic, and when adding Fever Tree tonic, it's a real treat
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
Phizbin (2015-02-24):
I agree! I've always been fond of this gin. To me it's always been a very clean, elegant gin that slips easily into a host of cocktails.

Sur Sipper Sur Sipper (2) (2014-10-02)
All organic references were recently removed from the bottles and boxes of Death's Door products. If you check their website you'll see no references to organic anything (this is a huge change from their original marketing). I've been told it's also a corn based spirit and not made from wheat and barley. I used to like this gin (it is smooth and I don't get hangovers from it) but I won't buy it based on the untrue labeling.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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ChrisCarlsson ChrisCarlsson (326) (2010-08-28)
One of the few organic gins available on the market, and quite tasty, to boot. Very flavor forward - reminiscent of Old Raj in some ways but organic and less money - nice trio of attributes.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • 859266003016
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